How to Become a Medical Secretary

You should possess more knowledge and skills than an ordinary secretary if you want to become medical secretary. As a medical secretary, you primarily will be assisting physicians, hospital consultants and other senior health care providers in day to day  administrative tasks. Your responsibilities will include - preparing reports, bills, speeches, presentation, articles apart from the regular patient admission, hospitalization, and management of medical supplies. You may also have to transcribe the dictation and prepare correspondence of your immediate boss.

Important Steps to be Taken

If you feel you are a detail oriented person and possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, then these are the steps you must take to become a medical secretary.

  • First and foremost, you must complete the secretary training. You should also acquaint yourself with computers as most of the hospital databases are managed with the help computer programs. Familiarize yourself with the hospital practices, terminologies, medical laws and insurance laws.
  • Start as a clerk in a medical office. Make use of the opportunity and learn all medical field specific procedures.
  • Join and complete a Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary Degree or Certificate program. Verify whether the course offers training in essential areas like Medical Terminology, Health Science, Insurance Billing and Dictation.
  • Locate few medical offices in need of a medical secretary through your contacts or through classified and apply for the same.
  • Join as a medical secretary in a company of your choice.

Tips for Becoming a Successful Medical Secretary

  • Learn to work with various kinds of office equipment like printers, scanners, photocopying machine, fax machine and phone switchboards.
  • Build up your typing speed as you have to key in lot of data for maintaining database.
  • Become proficient in word processing, spreadsheets and other such office management software.
  • Cultivate multi-tasking skills.
  • Polish your verbal and written communicational skills.
  • Make yourself comfortable with the patients by extending mental support.
  • Work on your organizational and administrative skills.
  • After gaining sufficient experience, you can do additional courses like Medical Billing and Coding if you want to become a medical billing specialist.
  • Improvise your working methodologies and give your maximum efforts in all the tasks you undertake.
  • Become a trustworthy person to your boss by handling various tasks and anticipating the needs of your boss.
  • Join professional associations like that of International Association of Administrative Professional to keep yourself abreast with the industry.  

Other Important Information

As a medical secretary, you are entitled to obtain superior benefits compared to other types of secretarial jobs. You are expected to work for 35 to 40 hours a week. However, the work timing may vary depending on the organization you work for. The median annual salary of a medical secretary was $28,090 in 2008 and the highest annual salary was found to be $40,870. As per the study of Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a growth of around 17 percent until 2016 in this field.